A new mandatory alcohol computer class for incoming Kansas University freshmen appears to be making an impact on students’ attitudes about responsible drinking, KU officials said.
“We’re seeing some healthier behaviors and how they use alcohol,” said Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle, associate vice provost in the office of the vice provost for student success at KU.
During the fall 2009 semester, 4,455 new students took the AlcoholEdu course, which is conducted in two sessions, one at the beginning of the semester and the second 30 days later.
According to students’ self-reporting, their behavior had changed between the first and second sessions. The number of students reporting they:
• Set a limit on alcohol drinks: 40 percent in the first session; 49 percent in the second session.
• Avoid drinking games: 28 percent in the first; 41 percent in the second.
• Monitor how much alcohol is in their system: 30 percent in the first; 42 percent in the second.
• Choose a drink with less alcohol: 32 percent in the first; 42 percent in the second.
• Pace drinks: 32 percent in the first; 43 percent in the second.
• Alternate alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks: 35 percent in the first; 46 percent in the second.
• Drink less often: 27 percent in the first; 39 percent in the second.
• Reduce number of drinks: 26 percent in the first; 41 percent in the second.
In addition to the computer class, which takes a total of two hours to complete, the university also started using measures that include notifying underage students’ parents if they’re caught with alcohol or drugs on campus.